This is a monthly infrasound guest post by Amber Waves over at Open ‘Til Midnight. Inside of these issues are five tracks – mostly independent acts from Canada – that have found their way onto Waves’ radar. Be sure to check out this month’s posting by 2020k on OTM’s blog monthly as well with the same premise, called Hidden Gems.
Oh. the weather outside is frightful! My Mayor is anything but delightful! The stores are a form of Christmas hell….
Let it song! Let it song! Let it song!
Have no fear, 2020k readers: I have yet to be buried under the stereotypical Canadian tundra. I come bearing gifts of music to blast when your neighbours won’t stop playing “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” or “Little Drummer Boy”. Whether you favour a chill night in with cider or roaming the streets in a drunken stupor, I’ve got your hook up.
“Kingdom Perverted” – Illitry
Hamilton’s Illitry are masters of creating soundscapes over songs — living, breathing worlds that swallow a listener whole. One is beckoned like that storybook puppet into the belly of a whale, surrounded by the ribs and echoing heartbeat rhythm of a beast. Sometimes, the monster sleeps, its tempo slowed to a pitter-patter. On their latest single, one might say that our creature has stirred rather ominously.
“Kingdom Perverted” is a hook-laden, Afro-Cuban percussive land of lush sounds and foreboding lyrics. As organic as the band has ever sounded, there is a liveliness that surges through the track that elevates it to a new level. Illitry is stepping up their game on this one and whether it’s the desperation of the dystopian world they’re evoking or an unknown, particular resonance with this new material, I’m thoroughly enraptured.
“The Strangest” – Future History
One of my favourite bands from the Toronto scene, Markham, Ontario’s Future History have released their third album, Lungs and it is as reflective and haunting as its predecessor, Loss:/self (Open ‘Til Midnight’s favourite album of 2012).
One of the things I admire most about this band is their creative use of ambient noise and found objects to layer their compositions. The sounds of the cabin itself within which the album was written form a breathy undercurrent for the tracks. There’s also a strong thematic thread of finding oneself in a world that pressures us to abandon our core being.
Take a listen to “The Strangest”, a personal highlight from the album.
“Worst Part” – STACEY
I could tell you about Toronto, Canada artist STACEY and her confessional piano-driven songs, but she tells it far more eloquently:
waterfalls of cathedral reverb
raw intimacy with the endless haze of sultry summer synth.
melodies rife with the delicacy of raw, unadulterated romance.
lyrics emanating a requiem for often unrequited love.
technicolor production with microscopic details.
the sad ending sensual.
a lot with very little.
“Worst Part” is haunting me. Let its ghostly being into your heart, as well.
“This Is Yours” – Goodnight, Sunrise
Toronto band Goodnight, Sunrise (GNSR) is perhaps the coolest quadrangle of musical awesome around. They epitomize the vibe of what I call Musiclove: harmony, beauty, playfulness and knowing when to rock your ass off. They’re the band shooting confetti at crowds, playing their album as the accompaniment to a spin class (with Vanessa Vakharia belting vocals while leading the class!). They also gave one of the coolest interviews ever in the history of OTM.
Their debut album Create/Destroy/Create has been on heavy rotation since its March release, with track “This Is Yours” in the roster of potential Hockey Night In Canada themes. Classic rock chords and an inspiring sing-along chorus/outro that begs for waking up your neighbours: what more could you want for your holiday gathering?
“Let Me Go” – HAIM
Perhaps one of the most hyped debuts of the year, Los Angeles band HAIM slammed onto the scene with singles “Forever” and “The Wire” and have continued garnering attention with their album Days Are Gone. Cleverly pop in the vein of Fleetwood Mac meets early 90’s girl band and shaken with just a touch of Joan Jett anger, HAIM is pretty infectious for pop rock.
But where the ladies truly shine is on the first track of theirs I ever heard, “Let Me Go”. Blues rock angst that builds and swells, the collective talents of the band are truly unleashed. I can’t say whether the decision to lean the album to more of a retro dance feel was a marketing choice or truly where their hearts were at, but I do know that I’d love their next release to jam out as hard as this live recording from The Roundhouse.
There you have it: the final dispatch from the Northern Lights for 2013! Stay safe and warm, music lovers.